Opera Scotland

Stabat Mater

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Gioachino Rossini (born Pesaro, 29 February 1792; died Paris, 13 November 1868)


Anon 13th century.



First Performance (initial version): Madrid (San Felipe el Real), Good Friday 1833.

First Performance (final version): Paris (Théâtre-Italien), 7 January 1842.

First Performance in UK: tbc

First Performance in Scotland: Edinburgh (St Mary's RC Cathedral), 29 November 1891 (perhaps earlier).



Rossini retired from opera composition after the successful premiere of Guillaume Tell in 1829, but would continue to produce enjoyable works of a lighter kind, including many songs. He also composed several religious works, of which this Stabat Mater is arguably the most important.

On a visit to Madrid in 1831 he was invited to compose a work on this familiar text for private performance. The composer's health was not good at this time and in order to achieve a premiere on Good Friday 1833 it became essential to have several sections composed by a colleague, Giovanni Tadolini, himself a reputable musician of the day.

The work's commissioner, Don Manuel Fernandez Varela, died in 1837, giving Rossini the opportunity to retake possession of the work. He was thus able to compose the 'missing' sections himself for a new premiere in Paris in 1842. This is the version invariably performed since.

The Cast


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